Whether you overplucked your eyebrows in your youth and did some permanent damage to your natural brow shape, or you’ve found them to be thinning a little as you get older, the good news is that yes—you can fix your brows. Read on for the complete guide to getting thicker eyebrows.
As a teenager, my parents wouldn’t let me anywhere near my brows with a tweezer (let alone hot wax!) and while I threw some tantrums and slammed some doors back then, in hindsight, I’m grateful to have dodged the overplucked arches of the nineties and naughties. Now that bushy brows a la Brooke Shields are back in style, I’m on a permanent mission to get fuller-looking brows.
Here’s the definitive guide to getting your brows looking (and growing) fuller.
1. Invest in a good eyebrow growth serum
It might feel a little too good to be true, but there are actually serums which help your brows grow thicker. The best place to apply the serum is over any bald patches before you notice any big changes. Be careful where you apply these products – they can also make your hair grow in unwanted places!
Are your brows natural super-thin and don’t grow much? This could all come down to over-plucking or basically removing too much hair from your eyebrows over the last few years. Even if your brows don’t naturally have an arch, it’s best to let them grow out and get them maintained by a professional on a bi-monthly basis.
Otherwise, you can always turn to eyebrow serum, which helps to grow back your brows if you have any bald patches. Just apply the serum in a small concentrated area (making sure not to get it anywhere else on your face!), and you will see results after the first month.
2. Apply castor oil to your eyebrows to help them grow thicker
We’ve written about the unexpected uses for castor oil before, and applying it to your brows is one way to thicken your eyebrows naturally. Simply grab a Q-tip or clean spoolie (that’s a mascara wand-like tool), dip it in castor oil, swipe it across your brows and massage it into your skin. Repeat every evening as the last step in your skincare routine and watch as they grow back thicker. You won’t get Lily Collins brows overnight, but repeat every night and after a few months you’ll see a noticeable difference.
How does castor oil work to thicken your brows? Great question. I was sceptical at first too—I was questioning, does castor oil really work for getting fuller eyebrows? So, naturally, I turned to Reddit where I found case study after case study where castor oil had helped people’s brows to grow back thicker and darker.
Pro tip: Want thicker eyelashes? Brush some castor oil onto your lashes before bed too—first with an eyeliner brush at your lash line, and then brush through your lashes with a clean spoolie.
3. Use a brow pomade or powder
Rather than using an eyebrow pencil which can often leave harsh lines on your skin, pomade and powder appear closer to the softer shape of a natural brow. Applying it is easier than you think too: Grab an angled brush and dip the tip into the pomade or powder and apply in small strokes.
For the illusion of thicker brows, take some pomade off of the brush with a tissue and carefully blend in the remainder at the beginning of the brow. Finally, brush out your brows for natural-looking fuller brows.
Choosing the right colour brow pomade:
Eyebrows should have a natural gradient—lighter in the centre and often darker tones at the tip where the arch is located. A colour 1-2 shades darker than your hair colour will help to define the brow along the tip and give a natural look. However, avoid colouring in the very beginning of the brow as this makes the entire look seem unnatural.
4. Style your brows with soap
Forgetting forking out your hard-earned cash on complicated exxy brow products. If you really want to bulk your sparse arches up, all you need is a bar of soap. Seriously.
The thrifty brow hack is actually an old Hollywood trick the stars are said to have all used back in the day, and works by adding instant texture to the eyebrows, thanks to the waxy quality of the soap. Want instant bushy brows? Grab your nearest bar of soap.
To try soap brows for yourself, simply grab a spoolie brush and run it under warm water for a second, then gently sweep the spoolie over a bar of soap a few times to grab some of its waxiness. Next, brush brows with the soaped-up spoolie in an upward direction, ensuring you coat every strand in order to build up dimension with the soap residue. Finish the look by using your regular brow pencil or powder to fill in and define your brows and you’re ready to greet the world, brows 2.0.
5. Use a volumising brow gel
In just the last few years, we’ve seen a growing variety of brow gels on the market. The OG of brow gels is Benefit’s Gimme Brow, which comes in 10+ shades to match the natural (or tinted) shade of your brows. The coloured gel is augmented with tiny little fibres, designed to fill in any sparse patches and make your natural brows look fuller.
If a clear gel is more your thing, apply it to your brows by swiping upwards to create a laminated-brow look for much less.
6. Tint your brows
I still remember the first time I tinted my eyebrows. I was sceptical about how much of a difference dark brown tint could have on my already quite brown eyebrows—surely brow tint was only for blondes? Alas, no—tinting is a great way to make your eyebrows look thicker because it darkens the light little baby hairs you wouldn’t otherwise notice. The only downside? You might need to pluck or wax your brows afterwards as the tint will darken any strays you’ve got.
7. Invest in eyebrow lamination
If you’ve got unruly brows, lamination will get them back into line… Literally! Brow lamination works by chemically straightening and lifting your brows, giving them a new, bushier shape similar to if you’d brushed soap or gel through your brows. The downside? It can be quite exxy and only lasts for 4-6 weeks at a time.
There are a few DIY eyebrow lamination kits on the market, which are fortunately much simpler than trying to DIY a lash lift at home.
8. Get your brows microbladed
I’ve always been self-conscious about a thinner patch at the start of my left eyebrow and one day, during a particularly insecure moment in the wake of a breakup, I decided to book myself in for microblading. If you’re not familiar with microblading, it’s when a trained professional cuts thin lines (about the size of a natural eyebrow hair) into the top layer of your skin and rubs pigment into them. It’s similar to eyebrow tattooing, however slightly less permanent and it’s designed to look like natural hairs rather than a solid block of colour.
Here’s the thing: I didn’t realise just how much the process would hurt. You’re supposed to return a few weeks after your first session, once the initial microblading has healed, to get a second application. I almost didn’t even go back for the second session because the first one was that painful.
The end result was brows that looked fuller, darker and less patchy. However, two years later they’ve faded significantly and I don’t know if I would return to get them done again.
9. Eyebrow marker
If you’ve ever applied a liquid eyeliner before then this should be a piece of cake, but if you’ve got unsteady hands (like me) you might want to give this one a miss. A marker is usually a fine-tipped pen which you can use to carefully draw precise hairs onto the lighter patches of your brows. A good eyebrow marker will be long-lasting and waterproof, so there’s no need to start panicking if you get stuck in a sudden downpour.